Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cowboy Casserole

I love making casseroles.  Anything that takes a few minutes to prepare then goes directly into the oven gets an A in my book.  I came across this Betty Crocker recipe a month or so back while searching for casserole dishes.  I thought that hubs would love it, so I printed and saved it.  I needed a ground meat meal to complete my menu last week and added this one.  I liked this meal and even went back for seconds.  My favorite part was the meat and bean mixture.  Hubs LOVED this meal and went back for a large serving of seconds.  His favorite part was the biscuit mixture on top.  Enjoy! 

lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
can (16 oz) baked beans
cup barbecue sauce
cups Original Bisquick® mix
cup milk
tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.
  2. Stir baked beans and barbecue sauce into beef. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and butter until soft dough forms.
  4. Drop dough by 12 spoonfuls onto beef mixture.
  5. Bake uncovered 18 to 22 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings (1 1/4 cups each)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili

1/2 cup chopped onion 
1 cup chopped red bell pepper 
1 clove garlic, finely chopped 
1 lb. ground turkey 
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained 
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin 
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce 
1 can (15.25 oz.) kidney beans, drained 
1 can (4 oz.) ORTEGA Diced Green Chiles 
1/2 cup whole kernel corn 
1 tablespoon chili powder 
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Brown the meat then throw everything in the crock pot for 3 1/2 hours on high.
  Love this spin on chili!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Sweet & Salty Bites

I've seen pictures floating around Pinterest using these three ingredients to make sweet treats.  I love the sweet and salty combination, so I added them to my "Must Make" list.  I made them last week for D to take to work.  I may have eaten a handful before I bagged them up for him to take.  They were that good!

Halloween Treats! 
Square Pretzels (I used the butter snaps)
Hershey Kisses 
Candy Corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place pretzels on cookie sheet, not touching. Unwrap Hershey's Kisses and place on top of pretzels. Place cookie sheet in oven. Bake for about 4 minutes or until the kisses are shiny.  When you take them out of the oven,  gently place candy corn on top of Hershey Kisses.  Press down gently.  Cool and then transfer to your desired serving dish. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dark Chocolate Halloween Cups

I made these cups at one of my recent Pampered Chef parties.  The recipe uses 4 of my top selling (and favorite) PC products: the mini muffin pan, small scoop, tart shaper and easy accent decorator.  I use all three at least once a week.  These tasty bites cost less than $5.00 to make and your guest will come back for more, guaranteed! 

Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
1 egg
1/2  cup (or 1 stick)melted butter
Vanilla Frosting 
Red & Yellow Food Coloring

1. Melt your butter, add the cake mix and then the egg and mix together in the classic batter bowl. You'll have to put some muscle into the mixing.  
2. Once you get your  dough, simply scoop dough into a mini muffin pan. using the small scoop.  
3. Bake at 350* for 8-10 min 
4. When your cups come out of the oven they will be slightly brown, spray your mini tart shaper with cooking spray to help them not stick and press down the center of each cup. 
Once all the tops are pressed down, move to a cooling rack.
Once the cups have cooled, fill with your favorite frosting using the easy accent decorator.   
*Use the red and yellow food coloring to make the orange frosting for the festive cups.  

*You can use any cake mix and frosting combination for a variety of sweet treats!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jalapeño Macaroni & Ham Bake

 If I could rename this recipe, I'd call it Grown Up Mac & Cheese.  A few weeks back I bought mac & cheese because it was BOGO at Publix.  I remembered coming across some Betty Crocker recipes using the deluxe box that looked pretty darn good.  After I got home from the store, I went back to my inbox to find the recipes.  I chose this one because hubs loves hot & spicy food.  I was trying to be a thoughtful wife =-).  I was also already using canadian bacon for another recipe, so this also allowed me to use food I already had at home (and saved me some $).  I LOVED this dinner.  Using the pepper jack cheese is a must.  It gave it the perfect kick.  Mixed with cheesy pasta and crunchy crackers, I couldn't get enough.  I didn't add the garlic or onions because I didn't think it needed it.  You'll definitely love this recipe! 

What You Need
2 pkg. (7-1/4 oz. each) KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
1 Tbsp.  oil
15 slices OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Honey Ham, chopped (I used Canadian Bacon)
1 small  red onion, finely chopped (Omitted)
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, chopped
2 clove  garlic, minced (Omitted)
4 eggs, beaten
4   KRAFT Big Slice Pepper Jack Cheese Slice, coarsely chopped
18 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup  fresh parsley, chopped

Make It

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

PREPARE Dinners in large saucepan as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium skillet on medium heat. Add ham, onions, peppers and garlic; cook 5 min., stirring frequently.

ADD ham mixture to Dinners with eggs and chopped cheese; mix lightly. Mix cracker crumbs and parsley; stir half into Dinner mixture. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining crumb mixture.

BAKE 35 min. or until center is set and casserole is heated through.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crockpot Cheddar Beer chicken

I've been pretty good about keeping up with my crockpot Monday meals.  Of course, Pinterest makes it very easy to find lots of recipes.  It is where I came across this one, which was originally  From Sandra Lee.  I made this recipe with hubs in mind.  I'm not a beer fan but was willing to try it out, hoping he would love it.  Overall, it only took me 20 minutes to make.  I thought it was okay, nothing to write home about.  But, hubs enjoyed it.  Next time, I would probably add more veggies and do without the green peppers.  This is definitely a "man" recipe. 


Makes: 4 servings
Cook: 31/2 to 41/2 hours
  •  1  large onion, peeled and diced large 
  •  1  package (16-ounce) diced red potatoes, Reser’s® 
  •  1  cup frozen diced green pepper, Pictsweet® 
  •  4  boneless skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry 
  •  11/2  teaspoons garlic salt, McCormick® 
  •  11/2  teaspoons ground black pepper 
  •  1  can (10-ounce) condensed cheddar cheese soup, Campbell’s® 
  •  3/4  cup Bass Ale® 
  •  3/4  cup bacon crumbles, Hormel® 
  •   Fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish


  1. In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine onion, potatoes, and green peppers.
  2. Season both sides of chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker on top of vegetables.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together cheddar soup, Bass Ale, and bacon crumbles. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 31/2 to 41/2 hours.

    Serving ideas: Serve hot with chive garnish.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Blossoms

What better way to start a new week than with another tasty pumpkin recipe? This one was from Pinterest.  I made them last Sunday when my mom came over and spent the day baking with me.  Even though these were delicious cookies, they weren't as easy as we thought they'd be.  I didn't have the time to cool the dough over night (which I would recommend) so I decided not to coat the dough in cinnamon sugar.  Instead, I scooped the dough onto the cookie sheet and sprinkled the cinnamon sugar mixture on it.  They baked perfectly and the house filled with a sweet pumpkin aroma.  Out next little issue came with putting the kisses on the cookies.  The directions said to put them on immediately after they come out of the oven.  That did not work for us, see picture below.  Instead we let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, moved them to a wire cooling rack and after a few minutes pressed the kisses on top.  After two attempts, we finally had success.  And they were totally worth it.  Enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses (about 30, unwrapped)
1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, mixed
Preheat oven to 350. 
Mix sugar cookie mix, butter, egg, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice with a mixer or by hand until well blended. Dough will be very soft. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
I tried the dough after an hour, and after sitting in the refrigerator overnight. I preferred it after it had sat all night (firmer and less messy) but it’s really up to you.
Scoop the dough out with a small cookie scoop (or a tablespoon), roll into a ball, and roll in the cinnamon sugar. If your dough is less firm due to refrigerating it less, drop it in the cinnamon sugar before you shape it. The coating will keep it from sticking to your hands.
Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown and centers are firm. Remove from oven and immediately press a Pumpkin Spice Kiss in the center of each.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Crescent Chicken

You are going to be so glad you visiting my little blog today.  I've got one heck of a recipe to share with you.  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  It came from a blog called  Women Living Well.  The picture on Pinterest immediately caught my eye.  When I looked at it, it looked easy to make and I had all of the ingredients on hand.  So, I added it to the menu for the week and made it last night.  Let. Me. Say.  This recipe was one of the best I've made in a while.  I was a little nervous about it after putting the chicken pockets together and pouring the soup over.  I thought the soup would seep through and I'd end us with a hot mess.  But, that was not the case at all.  It came out perfect. I could have eaten seconds and thirds if it wasn't so filling.  Add this recipe to your list this week, it will not disappoint! 

Crescent Chicken
(serves 6-8 rolls)
1 (8 or 6 jumbo count) package refrigerator crescent rolls
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk (using soup can)
Preheat oven to 350
Prepare soup using milk and set aside. Separate crescent rolls. Spoon chicken and cheese onto each crescent; roll and seal to enclose filling. Place in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour soup over rolls. Bake at 350 uncovered for 30 mins.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mini Meat Loaves & Ranch Potatoes

I'm continuously in search of new meatloaf recipes.  I've come across some great ones in the past, but I don't like to make the same thing twice, so my search continues.  This recipe appealed me to because it is made with a packet of ranch dressing mix.  I also loved the idea of the mini loaves, which makes less cooking time.  Any how, the recipe comes from Betty Crocker.  It was easy peasy to make.  And one of the best meat loaves I've had.  The loaves look like oversized meatballs but they were the perfect size.  I think the recipe made about 5 loaves.  The leftovers were just as tasty as the night we made them. For the potatoes, I used another packed of ranch mix and a tablespoon of olive oil.  I used about 3 cups of quartered potatoes.  I put them in a large ziplock bag, poured in the oil and the packed of ranch and mixed it up.  I laid them on a baking sheet and baked with the loaves.  I did put them in 10 minutes earlier than the loaves and took them out at the same time.  All in all, a fabulous dinner in less than an hour. 

1/4 cup milk 

1 egg

1 pound lean ground beef 

1/4 cup Progresso® dry bread crumbs (any flavor) 

1package (0.4 ounce) ranch dressing mix 

1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce   

 * Heat oven to 350ºF.
    * 2 Beat milk and egg with fork in large bowl. Mix in beef, bread crumbs and salad dressing mix (dry). Shape into 6 small loaves. Place in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Brush loaves with Worcestershire sauce.
    * 3 Bake uncovered 35 to 45 minutes until no longer pink in centers of loaves and juice is clear. (If using meat thermometer, insert so tip is in center of one loaf. Thermometer should read at least 160ºF.)
    *  Let stand 5 minutes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Are you surprised to see another pumpkin recipe?  You shouldn't be.  As soon as these gems caught me eye on Pinterest, I knew I had to make them.  Fortunately, I had all the ingredients at home so I didn't have to wait.  My Mr. has a busy season at work that is starting this week and I always try to send in lots of goodies for that 12 week period.  This was my first treat that I sent.  I followed all directions but did add a tsp of pumpkin pie spice into the cookie dough mix.  I chilled my dough overnight.  You definitely want to chill the dough, it will make it easier to work with.  I used the Pampered Chef small scoop to make the cookies, so I ended up with over 4 dozen. Enjoy! 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Yield: about 3-4 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the coating:
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
Dash of allspice
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Whisk to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the pumpkin puree.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend.  Scoop the dough (about 2½ tablespoons) and roll into a ball.  Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart.  Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly.  Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through.  Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Store in an airtight container.
From Annie's Eats. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Decor

Cinnamon Stick Candles 

I used a few bundles of cinnamon sticks and a tall white candle.  I had my hubs hold his hands open around the candle and I put the cinnamon sticks around it.  Once the candle was completely surrounded, I used twine to hold them together.  I did try to hot glue the cinnamon sticks together around the candle, but it didn't work.  It took 5 minutes to do once I had an extra set of hands.  

Filled Vases 

Popcorn seeds, split peas and red beans filled the vases in my dining room.  I used two bags of each.  I filled them and then placed a candle in the middle.  A quick and festive decoration.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Taco Pizza

Ever since I received my new Pampered Chef bar pan, I've been obsessed with making pizza.  It's just so easy to make using the pan and takes less than 30 minutes for a complete meal.  The first creation was the buffalo chicken pizza. This week I decided to make a taco pizza.  I'm usually a big fan of many of the dinners I make, but this one takes the cake.  I went back for  seconds and enjoyed the left overs the next day just as much.  Add this recipe to your menu this week, you won't be disappointed! 

1 lb of ground mean (I used turkey)
1 package of taco seasoning
1 tomato chopped
1 avocado chopped
1 can of refried beans 
1 cup of mexican blend cheese
1 small can of sliced olives
1 tube of pizza dough (I used Pillsbury)
3/4 cup shredded lettuce

1.  Preheat oven to 400. Brush the Pampered Chef bar pan with olive oil.  Lay dough onto pan, make sure it's spread out and covering the whole thing.  
2.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is slightly brown. 
3.  While the dough is baking, cook the meat.  Once meat is browned, mix in taco seasoning.  
4.  Take out dough from the oven.  Spread the beans over the cooked dough.  
5. Put the meat on top of the beans.  Cover as much of the dough as possible.  Sprinkle the cheese of top of the meat.  Put back in the over until cheese is melted.  Should only take a few minutes.  
6.  Once out of the oven again, top the pizza off with the lettuce, olives, tomatoes and avocado.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mushroom Herb Chicken

Mushroom Herb Chicken  


  • (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • large shallots, peeled
  • (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


  • 1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/3-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; coat with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until browned.
  • 2. While chicken cooks, cut shallots vertically into thin slices. Remove chicken from pan. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and shallots to pan; coat vegetables with cooking spray. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sherry and marjoram. Return chicken to pan; cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and chicken is done. Transfer chicken to a platter. Pour mushroom mixture over chicken; sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Skinny Pumpkin Cupcakes

If you haven't visited Skinny Taste, you have to check it out.  It's where I go to find healthy, low fat recipes.  I made these cupcakes for hubs to take to work. The pumpkin icing is what had me sold.  I've made pumpkin cupcakes time and time again, but never before with pumpkin icing. Of course, I taste tested and they are pumpkin lover approved! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cupcakes 

  • 18.25 oz Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Super Moist Cake Mix*
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
For the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 tbsp packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.
Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.
 cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
 For the frosting, 
 the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. You can use a spatula to ice the cupcakes or pipe them which may require making more frosting.
Makes 24
*Betty Crocker has reduced their cake mixes, so read the labels on your box. Dunkin Hines still carries 18.25 oz boxes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Honey Barbeque Meatloaf

I made the following recipe for our Sunday dinner this week.  Hubs and I usually cook together on Sundays so I prepared the meatloaf and he was responsible for the veggies.  I found the recipe on Pinterest, it comes from Can you stay for dinner? It's been a few months since I've made meatloaf and I had all of the ingredients for this one at home.  The meatloaf was quick to make.  The only thing I would change next time is add more breadcrumbs.  Other than that, it was delicious.  I served it with roasted veggies (zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes and potatoes).  We coated the veggies with 1 tsp olive oil, a tsp of garlic and a few dashes of salt, pepper and oregano.  I baked them under the meatloaf for the full 45 minutes.  About 10 minutes before I took them out, I sprinkled parmesan cheese on top. 
Honey Barbecue Meatloaf

  1. serves 4
    1 lb 90% lean ground beef
    1 slice white bread, ground to crumbs in food processor -or- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
    3/4 cup smoky barbecue sauce, divided
    2 tablespoons honey, divided
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    Toss one slice of soft white bread in your food processor and grind it into crumbs.
    In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground beef, fresh bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce, the spicy brown mustard, 1/2 cup of the barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, salt, and black pepper.
    Shape the mixture into a long, thick log and place in an oiled baking dish. Be careful not to pack the meat too tightly or you’ll end up with a very dense, tough loaf.
    In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce. Spread half of this mixture evenly all over the meatloaf. Reserve the other half for serving.
    Bake for 45 minutes. Slice and drizzle with reserved honey barbecue sauce.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ribbon Wreath

Ribbon wreaths have been popping up all over Pinterest lately.  I made this ribbon wreath about a month ago for the start of football season.  I never got around to post it, which is why it's just coming to you now. There are tons of tutorials out there for ribbon wreaths.  I didn't use just one, I searched for a while and used bits and pieces from many tutorials.  The difference between mine and many others is that I didn't use as much ribbon.  My pieces are wide and thick.  Doing it this way saved me money on ribbon and time.  For this wreath I used 2 spools of the yellow and green satin ribbon and 1 spool of the football ribbon.  I cut everything in 3-4inch pieces.  Then, I hot glued the ends together to form a circle.   After the glue was dried, I pinned them onto my styrofoam wreath.  I used a lot of little pins for this project.  I also tried my best to line up the ribbon in rows, it made it easier to pin. 
 About 2 weeks after I hung this on my front door, I decided it needed more.  So I painted wooden letters green, hot glued them to a wooden football (already painted) and glued the football to leftover ribbon.  GO BULLS!  
Happy Football Season! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Crock Pot Hawaiian Barbeque Chicken

This recipe comes to you from Cookbook Jungle.  I pinned it a while back, waiting for the start of fall to make it.  This year I"m attempting Crock Pot Monday's.  My goal is to make a crock pot mean every Monday. I never feel like cooking on Monday because they are usually stress filled days.  This would take one thing off my plate.  Plus crock pot meals always provide great leftovers, which means I don't have to worry about lunch the next day.  Win win for me.  If you're in need of more crock pot recipes, check out my Pinterest board.  

4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts (can still be frozen)
1 Bottle Archer Farms Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce (from Target)
1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, drained

1. Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray.
2. Place chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce. Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top.
3. Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.
4. Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce. Serve over rice.

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